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Airports Selected To Receive Funding For Improvements


March 9, 2005 (05-029)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Stan Whitley, 785-296-3585

Sixteen Public Use Airports Selected To Receive Funding For Improvements

Sixteen more public use airports in the state will receive safety and service enhancements thanks to the Kansas Airport Improvement program.

Projects for FY 2006 were recently announced by the Kansas Department of Transportation. The projects will address maintenance, geometric improvement and facility and equipment needs at non-primary public use airports. These are airports in the state that are classified as having less that 10,000 passenger boarding's per year.

"KDOT funds $3 million in airport projects annually and we have seen dramatic improvements in air transportation across the state since the program's inception five years ago," said KDOT Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller. "Statewide, all citizens are now only 30 minutes away from emergency air services and runway pavement conditions have improved from a 49 (fair) rating to a 71 (very good) rating."

Recognizing the importance of air service to the Kansas economy and emergency health care services, KDOT established the Airport Improvement Program in 1999 with funding authorized as part of the Comprehensive Transportation Program (CTP).

"These improvements couldn't have happened without local partners and KDOT working together," said Miller. "The program is designed to stretch state dollars by requiring participation from local units of government. Over the past six years, KDOT has funded approximately $18 million in improvements and local governments have added about $9 million to make improvements for 145 projects."

Under guidelines of the program, project sponsors are required to pay a minimum of 10 percent of the total project costs or a maximum 50 percent of the total project cost based on population.

Prior to passage of the CTP, Kansas was the only state in the country that did not provide state funding for airport improvements. Miller said that commerce, air ambulance service, agriculture and law enforcement have been key benefactors of the airport improvement program.

The following is a list of the selected airport improvement projects.

Ness City - Construct new runway; Smith Center - Construct new runway; Parsons - Reconstruct 500 feet of runway; Syracuse/Hamilton County - Phase One construction of new runway; WaKeeney/Trego County - Seal runway and construct turnarounds; Tribune/Greeley County - Automatic weather observation system; Ulysses/Grant County - Rotating beacon; Benton - Widen and overlay runway; Wichita Riverside - Rotating beacon; St. Francis/Cheyenne County - Automatic weather observation system; Miami County - Automatic weather observation system; Junction City - Seal runway and taxiway; Elkhart/Morton County - Seal runway and taxiway; Herington - Rotating beacon; Larned/Pawnee County - Repair taxi lanes; Rose Hill Cook - Runway and taxiway lighting.

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